Armley Park was the venue of FC Armley’s first-ever league game at the weekend – and the game was a thriller. Harley Hirst and Dan Thomas report.
FC Armley 4-4 Northern Star
After starting the game very strongly, Haydn Bowler scored in the 4th minute to make it 1-0 to FC Armley.
For the first 15 minutes FC Armley looked the stronger team, dominating possession and having a goal by Dan Thomas disallowed from a corner due to a push on the goalkeeper.
But Northern Star caught FC Armley on the counter attack twice before half-time, making it 1-2 to Northern Star at the break.
At the start of the second half FC Armley started to throw players further forward to get the equaliser, but Northern Star were quick to catch them on another counter attack. This time making it 1-3.
FC Armley did not let this faze them and kept working hard to retrieve the deficit.
The home side were forced to make a change at 60 minutes due to an injury to Brandon Fowles. Hayden Brining came on to make his league debut.
FC Armley were still throwing players forward with the belief that they could cut the deficit.
On 65 minutes FC Armley were awarded a corner. Dan Thomas took the corner and picked out Mick Dixon. He managed to get something on it and scored with his first goal of the campaign to make it 2-3.
Three minutes later Northern Star were awarded a free kick in their own half. After a good cross in the box, and a scramble for the ball, Northern Star scored again to make it 2-4.
FC Armley now started to throw players forward on every attack and was not going to let the scoreline affect their belief and performance.
From the 70th minute FC Armley looked the stronger team, wanted the result more and kept going. Every player showed resilience and passion to keep pushing.
Chances started to come, and on the 85 minute Haydn Bowler skipped past two Northern Star defenders and slotted it home with his right foot. Gabrielle Fiorenzo grabbed the ball from the back of the net and FC Armley wanted the result more than ever now. The passion and belief could be heard from every player. That made it 3-4.
More attacks from FC Armley came, and chances from Carl McGuigan and Dan Thomas went wide.
The ref indicated there was 1 minute of the game remaining and a roar from the FC Armley players and manager for a final push came.
After some neat passing in the centre of the pitch Haydn Bowler picked up the ball on the edge of the box, held it up and skipped past two defenders, struck it with his right foot into the bottom left corner of the goal.
FC Armley 4 – 4 Northern Star.
The scenes went mental – every single FC Armley player jumped on Haydn Bowler to celebrate and even Oliver Williamson ran the length of the pitch to join in the celebrations.
Kick off by Northern Star was the last kick of the game.
FC Armley manager Harley Hirst said after the game:
“I’m disappointed with today’s performance, we showed flashes of what we are capable of, simple things have cost us dearly today, such as pushes in backs, not standing people up but overall I have got to give the players credit for digging themselves out of the hole they found themselves in.
“Moving forward, we look forward to next Sunday where we can give a better account of ourselves.”
Man of the Match went to Haydn Bowler.